I was talking to friend recently and she explained how although she enjoyed her job and was working in the field she desired, one aspect was a sore spot: her micro manager.
Everyday her manager hovered over her shoulder, seeing what she was working on and ensuring she was doing work “correctly.” This manager was constantly looking over her shoulder, critiquing this and that, and it was starting to take its toll on my friend.
She thought, If you hired me for the job, why can’t you allow me to just do the job?
And she’s not alone. It’s estimated that 75-80 percent of American workers have had to deal with micromanagers at some time in their careers. Ouch!
But why is micromanaging so frowned upon? Aren’t these managers just ensuring those under their care actually do their jobs and do them efficiently? Well, although keeping up with every detail of an employee’s work practices may seem productive and beneficial, it can actually result in the complete opposite.
Below are six of the most common reasons micromanaging can actually hurt, rather than help. Pay attention, all those in authority, because the following can cause your employee to dislike this practice—and eventually you:
No one wants to be made to feel like they aren’t intelligent, incapable or lack any necessary skills when it comes to completing a task. Constantly hovering over a worker’s shoulder, double and triple checking his or her work, giving him/her assigned tasks (with specific amounts of time) can quickly make an employee feel incompetent. Be sure not to insult your employee’s intelligence and skills. If you hired him/her to do the job, trust that he or she will do it.
2. Extra Pressure
You may think continuously looking over your employee’s work will cause him or her to be more productive, but that’s often not the case. A boss watching over employees can cause them to make more mistakes because the workers may feel extra pressure to perform…and perform well. Of course, stellar performance is the goal of any company, but you shouldn’t try to “scare” this out of workers because it may backfire.
3. Limits Independence
Employees need to be able to do work their way and how it fits them. Micromanagers limit a worker’s sense of independence, and a certain degree of independence in any role is key. Your employees are not children that need to have their hands held through every task. Again, trust that they can get the job done.
4. Decreases Confidence
Knowing your boss trusts in your abilities and talents is a great feeling for any employee. It instills a sense of confidence in a worker. Micromanagement decreases and often eliminates this confidence. A worker’s confidence is displayed through the quality of his or her work. Take away their confidence and you inevitably decrease the quality of their work.
5. Stifles Creativity
My friend is a creative person, but as her boss constantly checks her work (and tells her how to do it), she says it puts a damper on her creativity. Employees have unique ideas they’re eager to share with your company. They possess creative skills and talents that, once combined with others on their team, can produce great results for your organization. Don’t kill their creative spirits.
6. Ruin Overall Job Satisfaction
You can love your job and be very good at it, but a micromanaging boss can spoil your overall experience. Remember, people don’t quit jobs, they quit managers. Avoid being the cause of an employee’s change of career and remove any micromanaging.